Monthly Project Review January 2018

Several projects were announced in January, while other projects saw significant changes during the month.

For instance,  AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio), subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), on Jan. 4 announced an approximate $29m investment to the electric transmission grid in Ross and Jackson counties with two power line projects – the Jackson Township and Coal Township 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Projects, which are part of the overall Jackson-Ross County Area Improvements project. Through the overall project, AEP Ohio plans to improve the reliability of the electric transmission grid by updating aging infrastructure to improve its condition and address performance issues, according to the statement.
According to a fact sheet on the Jackson Township project, the project includes upgrading about 10 miles of existing 69-kV transmission line to 138-kV standards, and early estimates show that the work will total about $21m. According to the project schedule, an application with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) will be submitted in the spring, and an OPSB decision is anticipated in December. Transmission line construction is planned to occur from fall 2019 to summer 2021; the project will be completed in summer 2021, the fact sheet added.
According to a fact sheet on the Coal Township project, the project includes upgrading about four miles of existing 69-kV transmission line to 138-kV standards, and the projected costs of the upgrades are about $8m. The line runs through Liberty and Coal townships in Jackson County, the fact sheet noted. According to the project schedule, an application with the OPSB will be submitted in the spring, and an OPSB decision is anticipated at the end of this year. Transmission line construction will occur from fall 2020 to the end of 2021, with the project completed at the end of 2021, according to the schedule.

Also in January, AEP Ohio Transco filed with the OPSB a pre-application notification letter for the Seaman-Sardinia 138-kV Transmission Line Project, which involves building a greenfield 138-kV looped tap from the nearby Hillsboro-Maysville 138-kV line and the conversion of the existing 69-kV Sardinia station. The approximately $19m project is needed to improve reliability.

Appalachian Power, also a subsidiary of AEP, in January announced the planned Blair-Danville Transmission Improvements Project, which involves rebuilding about 14 miles of an existing transmission line in Logan and Bonne counties in West Virginia. The project is needed to ensure reliability.

Brazos Electric Power Cooperative in January filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Texas an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the Clairemont to Salt Creek Switch Transmission Line and Switch Station Project. The company said that it proposes to build about 2.18 miles of 138-kV double-circuit capable transmission line with one circuit initially in place in Kent County, Texas, between the existing Brazos Electric Clairemont substation, located about seven miles northwest of Clairemont, Texas, to the proposed new Salt Creek switch, located about 1.6 miles northwest of the existing Clairemont substation and about 2.3 miles east of Ranch Road 1081. The estimated total cost of the transmission facilities portion of the project would be about $5m, while the substation facilities portion would be about $6.9m, the company said. Brazos Electric expects to energize the project in January 2019.

Various projects saw changes in January. For instance, American Transmission Company (ATC) received a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the company’s West Riverside interconnection project. Describing the transmission project and its purpose, the commission noted in its decision that ATC proposes to build a new loop-in, loop-out 345-kV transmission line from its Line W10. The project includes construction of a new 345-kV substation to be named Kittyhawk; a new loop-in, loop-out 345-kV, double-circuit line that will tap into existing ATC Line W10; an upgrade to the protective relay packages at the existing Paddock and Rockdale substations; and an upgrade to the protective relay settings at the existing Rock River and Townline Road substations. ATC’s estimated cost of the project is between $40.95m and $42.36m, depending on the route alternative chosen.

AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) on Jan. 3 announced the approximately 360-mile route for the $4.5bn Wind Catcher Energy Connection project. The project – which is a joint effort between PSO and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) – is designed to harness wind energy from the western panhandle of Oklahoma and deliver it to customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma, as well as parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, the company said. According to the Wind Catcher Energy Connection website, the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher facility, developed by Invenergy, will generate power from 800 GE 2.5-MW turbines. Development of the line route began last summer, PSO added, noting that the overall project is expected to deliver wind energy to customers by the end of 2020.

Appalachian Power on Jan. 19 announced its proposed line route for its Dearington-Rivermont project within the City of Lynchburg. The $20m project involves rebuilding the approximately six-mile, 69-kV transmission line between the Dearington and Reusens substations. The project has an anticipated completion date by the end of 2020.

Duke Energy’s (NYSE:DUK) Duke Energy Progress in January received a certificate of environmental compatibility and public convenience and necessity from the North Carolina Utilities Commission – subject to certain conditions – for the company’s project that involves building about 11.5 miles of new 230-kV transmission line in Johnston and Wake counties in North Carolina. The projected cost of building the line on Route 31 is about $13.7m, the commission said.

Finally, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, in a final order signed on Jan. 25, approved Entergy Texas, Inc.’s (ETI) application to amend a certificate of convenience and necessity for a proposed 230-kV transmission line in Jefferson County. ETI filed 16 alternative routes and had concluded that “route 11” is the route that best addresses certain requirements. The parties have agreed to route 11, which is about 13.11 miles long, the commission added. The line will be built using concrete or steel monopole structures, the commission said, noting that the estimated cost to build route 11 is about $70.3m, including transmission and substation facilities costs. ETI is a subsidiary of Entergy (NYSE:ETR).